Our Team

The leadership team at Glarea

Jasveen Bunwait

Principal & Teacher

Jasveen Private School Surrey


Jasveen graduated from the American Montessori Internationale Primary Teaching program and also holds her certification in Early Childhood Education. She has also completed her Bachelor's Degree with a concentration in Sociology of Education. An educator for eight years she has worked extensively within the primary school setting. Jasveen has a strong passion for education, children, and building community. Her educational philosophy is rooted in giving children a choice and a voice. Jasveen believes that allowing children to make their own choices through modeling examples, teachable moments, and tangible lessons helps to build the true self.

Jasveen is a strong advocate for equality in education, a strong school community, and creating comfort, not fear, in classrooms. Jasveen truly believes that excellence in academics, positive personal and social development, and helping to build character in each child is a collective effort. Jasveen strongly believes the foundation for each child is built upon the teacher and parent communication. Jasveen believes that the continuum and continuity of learning lie in uplifting and illuminating each child’s gifts. Allowing children to position themselves in a state of wonder; rather than placing them into a fixed expectation.

Through open communication and an adaptable approach, Jasveen believes that each student at Glarea is destined for success!

Karen Mahay


Karen private school surrey


Hi! My name is Karen Mahay and I am very excited to be a part of the Glarea team! From a young age, I knew I wanted to become a teacher, thanks to the amazing teachers I had during my years of learning. After seeing how dedicated and caring my elementary teachers were, I knew I wanted to follow in their footsteps.

I completed my Associate’s Degree in Arts at Douglas College, and furthered my studies at Simon Fraser University by obtaining my Bachelor of Arts Degree with a specialization in Sociology. I also have a certificate in Early Childhood Education. I have been working in the childcare and education field for over 9 years, with experience working with children aged 3-12.

I believe student success begins when students feel comfortable and safe in their learning environment. It is important to build a positive and caring relationship with each student and their families so they feel confident in their school community.

Students are not the only ones who learn from educators. I strongly believe teachers can and do learn a lot from their students. Therefore, I make it a priority to teach what students are interested in, as that is when they learn best. I have experience working with a variety of educational philosophies – Reggio Emilia, inquiry and STEM based learning as well as play based learning. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and dog Neko. I am an avid crafter and enjoy baking!

Tina Zhu

Teacher - Mandarin



As a native Mandarin speaker, Tina has been teaching Mandarin for over four years. Her students have ranged from kindergarten to grade eleven in both classroom and one-on-one settings. She held a Teacher’s Certificate in China before moving to Vancouver and holds a Certificate of Mandarin Standard Pronunciation. Through her experience, she has become highly experienced in developing student centred teaching strategies specific to learning Mandarin. She believes that curiosity is the key to learning and that creative lesson plans with interactive activities are crucial to successful teaching. She loves to incorporate interesting facts about the Chinese language and culture into her lessons and to introduce hands-on art projects to inspire students’ passion. She loves to encourage students and to see the joy in their eyes as they learn to understand the personal satisfaction that accompanies the learning of a new language. On a personal level, she loves nature and going hiking in her leisure time.


our board of directors

Nadia Irshād




Nadia Irshād’s educational background is in Environmental Studies focusing on Sustainable Development and Urban Planning. She pursued a career in Art & Design working in Magazine Print Design and web design for a decade before opening her first early learning school. She is the Founder and CEO of Academics Educational Systems, a franchise system that operates corporate and franchised centres called Academics preKindergarten. As a resident of the South Surrey area, Nadia has had the privilege of being a board member of the Peninsula Community Foundation. She was a member of The Women’s Presidents Organization for years, before focusing on her current role as a Board Member for Arts Umbrella, Canada’s non-profit leader in arts education for young people, providing access to the highest quality arts education to communities as a basic human right. She is specifically dedicated to expanding the non-profit’s reach in the City of Surrey.

Nadia is passionate about her industry as a change agent for women, children and families. She is drawn to education and childcare through her own personal story. She finds passion in human connection, civic activism and more specifically causes that relate to women. Nadia’s interests include mobilizing women and girls by confronting cultural barriers that limit and harm women in closed communities. Words and writing is her passion, and she spends her free time writing to bring voice to untold stories, to encourage people who need help reach out and put a spotlight on real issues.




Our family came to Glarea because we were searching for an alternative to a traditional public or private education. It was really important to me that my girls have the opportunity to learn how to learn, rather than learn how to memorize or perform well on exams. Education has always been a passion of mine; I was a private tutor for many years and now work in social services developing and implementing educational day programming for at-risk youth.

I work from a trauma-informed and person-centered approach and see these values reflected at Glarea. By providing so many varied opportunities for our children to explore and nurture their own passions, Glarea is helping them to get the best possible start in their educational journey. It is important for a school community to be cohesive, responsive, and driven to provide a well-rounded, holistic education.

It has been amazing to see our children getting involved in the planning and coordination of school-wide events. I truly believe that these actions are empowering for young people and I am so glad to be a part of this community. I truly believe that Glarea has positively impacted the lives of students by providing a one-of-a-kind atmosphere for them to truly grow and become their own, unique selves.




I am a successful Realtor® with RE/MAX LifeStyles Realty, boasting a career spanning back to 2005. Over the years, I have come to understand that what we are taught on paper as realtors does little to prepare us for success in this competitive field. As a result, I have honed my ability to think on my feet and persevere through the challenges of this industry to achieve my goals. In 2021 I joined forces with 2 other realtors in the office to create the team "Jeeves Swift Connor Marketing Group"

Before my time in real estate, I served as the Director of National Accounts at Sleeman Breweries, where I oversaw a period of remarkable growth. My tenure spanned fifteen years and saw our business transform from a regional brewery to the third largest in Canada. This accomplishment was only made possible through my unwavering determination and perseverance.

I am a firm believer in the importance of education and am passionate about providing children with the tools they need to succeed. I am a strong advocate for the school program and believe that it is critical to instill in our youth the ability to navigate the complexities of the world around them.

My family life is a busy one, with my wife, a professional woman, and raising three girls who have all attended Meadow Ridge Independent School. Despite our hectic schedules, we make time for travel and prioritize family time.

Community involvement is a cornerstone of my personal philosophy, and I have been dedicated to this value since my youth in Maple Ridge. I was a swimmer for the Haney Neptune’s and later served as a coach, as well as playing hockey for Ridge Meadows Minor Hockey and at the college level.

Today, I remain involved in the community through organizations such as the Drive for the Cure and the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation.

In 1999, I founded the Drive for the Cure with a close friend. This event has since grown beyond our wildest expectations, raising over $170,000.00 annually in net profit. Our mission is to support local hospitals in their efforts to detect and treat cancer by providing funds for critical equipment purchases. Our foundation runs on a volunteer basis, ensuring that all donations are used to directly benefit our communities. 2023 will be our 25th year and I couldn’t be happier with the success and support we have had with this incredible organization. I am excited to be a part of the growth and success of Glarea, A New Kind of School and I look forward to being a part of its positive impact on our community.

our board of advisors

Peter Merrill



Peter founded The Hill Academy in Vaughan ON in 2006. The school offers a unique platform that balances academics, athletics, and personal development. The Academy complies with and exceeds government and academic expectations, and employs sound business practices. The enrolment has grown from 15 student athletes to 210 with a post secondary placement rate of 100%. It has been a breeding ground for professional hockey, lacrosse and olympic players. Peter has a Bachelor’s of Physical Education, a Master’s of Arts and has been involved in coaching in University and Professional Levels. Peter has been involved in technology for people with disabilities.

“l have a sincere belief in the value of sport and physical literacy as key ingredients in the academic and personal development of our youth.”

Dr. Ryan



Dr. D’Arcy’s scientific work in neuroscience gained international attention when he was part of the NRC research team that developed an advanced virtual reality-based neurosurgical simulation system that helped brain surgeon Dr. David Clarke remove a brain tumour on a patient in 2009. In 2012, he was highlighted as a “Kickass Canadian” amongst other prominent Canadian leader and he has been awarded a Public Service Award of Excellence, The National Research Council's Research Breakthrough of the Year, and the Discovery Award for Innovation. His team at the NeuroTech Laboratory has been awarded the International Global Best Award in STEM in 2016 (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and his HealthTech Connex Inc. team won a 2018 Surrey Business Excellence Award from the Surrey Board of Trade.

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